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Chapter 2

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Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Intro post here. Beware of spoilers.

Chapter 2 (Severed Cords)
Epigraph:I wonder why the gem can't be fully infused. Does the Stormlight take up too much space that the spren needs to occupy? In addition does the Stormlight sustain the spren or merely make it more comfortable?
(Side note: apparently my dictation tool recognizes “Stormlight.” That will be useful.)

A Kal chapter? No, a Syl chapter! Huzzah! In the first book Syl was my very favorite character. That stopped being the case in books 2 and 3 for a number of reasons but I am looking forward to seeing some more from her perspective. 

Wait, was I wrong? I got my hopes up based on ambiguous pov phrasing in the first two sentences. Sad day :-( Just Kal again. Oh well. He is basically the primary protagonist of the front five books, so I shouldn’t complain too much that he gets some screen time.

A “trickle” of new fused types over the past year. Surely that takes us past the nine expected total by now? Since we started with four or five at Thaylen field, right?
Hm. Looks like they know the upper limit (Jasnah says 10, Dalinar says 9) so probably not. Maybe my memory is off about the battle, and I’m thinking of the various other non-Fused forms.

Oh, he outright says he’s fought against seven types. 
Oooo, teleporter! This could be fun. Initially I thought that the spren was abandoning the Fused and was going to possess a different singer. That would have been a much more attritious mode of combat. 

And Kal gets slammed to the ground in the opening move. Not a good look, mister super-awesome Radiant. (Speaking of, has that word spread at all in the past year of people hanging out with Lift?)

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A Shardblade could cut spren, but that didn’t kill them. They re-formed eventually.

I have been asking this question since book 1! I’m glad to have an answer, even if it’s kind of an underwhelming one.

So the teleporting Fused leaves a body behind, an empty shell that is porous stone. I wonder if that stone association is significant. More practically speaking, fighting one of these things will leave a lot of creepy mannequin bodies all over the place to spook civilians, and I can easily see an experienced Fused (or worse a group of them) using that ability in advance to prepare a battlefield with figures to hide among in order to ambush an enemy. Super creepy.

It sounds like Kaladin has used this “infuse the Fused with Stormlight” trick multiple times before, and there doesn’t appear to be any interaction other than the usual resistance of an already invested object/being. Too bad. I was hoping for some level of Stormlight vs Voidlight shenanigans.

Adolin is giving Syl fashion tips! I don’t think that was enough exclamation points. Let’s try again. Syl is asking Adolin for fashion advice!!!!!! I love it! Those fashion folios are coming in handy now, aren’t they. All of you who were making fun of the foppish side of Adolin are eating your words now, I bet. He is going to singlehandedly introduce modern fashion to spren society. Not just the queen’s nephew, or married to the best Lightweaver around, he’s also famous on his own merits as the fashion forward counselor to all of Shadesmar. (He’s okay with a sword, too.)

....

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Veil was growing increasingly upset that nobody had kidnapped her.

What a great opening line to the next section. I wasn’t expecting a Shallan POV until the next chapter at least, so this will be good.

It is also worth mentioning at the outset that my favorite part of Oathbringer was the Radiant-Veil-Shallan identity interplay. Yes, I’m one of those people. So it probably goes without saying that I’m thrilled her first appearance here is in the Veil identity, whether or not there are Ghostblood happenings to discover here.

Wait, I get all three of them at once! Awesome! I can tell that the past year has done wonders for our girl’s mental stability.

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Veil smiled at the warmth that came from Shallan, and even Radiant, who was coming to enjoy humor. This last year, the three of them had settled into a comfortable balance. They weren’t as separate as they’d been, and swapped personas easily.
Things seemed to be going so well.

Ah, yes. The sign of things going well: your alternate personalities get along, and sometimes blur together.

Oh, she’s infiltrating Sadeas’ warcamp. Are we finding out what Ialai is up to, or something more relevant to the greater war effort?

“Luckmerches” selling glyphwards and charms. I like this word.

Oh. She has Adolin (or at least soldiers he sent) as backup. This is just a regular sting op against slavers (presumably, given the prominent mention of the slave pens), nothing like actual spy work. Too bad. Ialai can wait, I guess.

I think it’s significant that Shallan has to come out to take the Memory of the merchant to draw later. It’s not just something that Shallan could prompt Veil to do. I wouldn’t remark on it, except that Shallan’s Memories and drawings have that link to her lightweaving. It suggests something important about her identities tying in to her Truths and radiant abilities.

Hmm. Not slavery, perhaps? Anti-Kholin resistance? Otherwise her remarks make no sense as added bait. Maybe she is being too obvious, and they’ve ID’d her?

Ah, Sons of Honor. A good target to hunt. (And involves Ialai, now, if I recall correctly.) Unfortunately, with them appearing in the first Shallan chapter like this, suggests that they will be a long-term issue in the book, so answers will be slow to come. On the positive side, it does hint that we will actually learn more about them.

Memories crowding to the front, Veil suggesting that Shallan remember them… This is my jam! I am so excited for her development in this.

….

Syl mocking Kaladin about forgetting how to sleep is nice. And about being grumpy.
 

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“Grumble grumble. Get in line, men. Storming rain, ruining otherwise terrible weather. Also, I’m banning toes.”

That is an uncanny impression. How will anyone know which one is the real Kal?

Oroden! I forgot about you. How did I do that? I feel terrible. At first I thought they’d somehow placed Elhokar’s son with Hesina, which would be absolutely moronic, (i.e. not entirely impossible in much of fiction). Glad to see it’s actually the little bro.

Okay, this conversation about Kal’s dating life is great. Syl spilling the beans to Hesina… I want to see them having girl talk. Also, sad for Kal that things didn’t work out with Lyn, but Lyn probably deserves someone she can make happy and who can make her happy in turn. That’s not Kal.

Looks like things are more strained between Lirin and Kal than I thought. This looks like it may take quite a bit of time to heal. (Pun was not intentional, but is so appropriate.)

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“By the Three Gods,” whispered one of them, a tall fellow with a ponytail. “It’s true. You’ve returned.”

Wow. Okay, this is big. Like, ALL CAPS big. (Did I do that right? No?) Somehow the Herdazians have retained traditions involving all three Rosharan Shards in some form. 
No idea yet who they’ve conflated Kaladin with--a Herald, a shard, something else, but I want to learn more about what they remember in their legends. Even if the “you” who’s returned just means the Radiants in general, that’s significant to be something they remember… except that it’s been a year since the last book. This is probably just news spreading to the people that Radiants have returned and they are bringing hope. Still, that doesn’t change the “three Gods” comment.

Hahaha! The Mink doesn’t just like escape artistry, he’s a regular stage magician. This is great.

Who is “The Ganlos Riera” who couldn’t catch the Mink?

IT’S NAVANI’S AIRSHIP! I didn’t think it would be ready yet. This is amazing.
Or, is it the airship? I’m not getting any fabrial vibes off this thing. Is it just a giant platform to carry a town of refugees on?
Okay, yes, it is Navani’s thing. Maybe the Windrunners just steer, and help infuse the fabrial portions when it needs to refuel between storms?


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